Editorial: Let us now praise a famous town

Typically, newspaper editorials are critical, even carping. That’s inherent in freedom of the press. Still, it’s good to try to keep in mind the poet W.H. Auden’s gentle admonition to “teach the free man how to praise.” That is, balance criticism for things that need criticizing with praise for those things that are praiseworthy.

And praiseworthy indeed have been the recent goings on in the town of Washington, Rappahannock County’s seat:

The Trinity Church parking lot across from the Inn, now repaved and graced with handsome stone walls and other landscaping features, is no longer just a place to park cars. It’s an aesthetic addition.

Rumor has it that there might well soon be an outdoor sculpture garden just down the street.

The gateway property owned by the town, Avon Hall, is about to get a new coat of paint and other touch-ups.

And who would have ever guessed that something ranging far, far away from its native habitat would be finding a home in our tiny town? A moose, of all things! And an albino moose at that! Located right next to R.H. Ballard’s, the White Moose is the creation of Jim Abdo, named a Big Washingtonian of the Year for his creative revitalization of neglected neighborhoods in the Nation’s Capital.

All that’s needed now are some inviting sidewalks, like the old brick pavers on Gay Street in front of the courthouse. As it is now, perplexed visitors searching for the proper path stroll down the middle of Main Street, while cars haphazardly park on ill-defined shoulders.

Then, the town’s annual Christmas tree bonfire can truly be celebratory.

Walter Nicklin